The Rugby Football League and the Carnegie School of Sport are looking to recruit a highly motivated individual to a prestigious PhD
- Full-time Sponsored Postgraduate Research Studentship
- Start date: February 2022
The PhD studentship will have a bursary of £15,609 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK/EU Fees paid initially for a period of three years.
This is a unique opportunity for an enthusiastic and high-achieving individual looking to undertake a PhD in a vibrant research and high-performance sport environment. Leeds Beckett University and the Rugby Football League (RFL) are looking to recruit a highly motivated individual to join the research team at Leeds Beckett University. The PhD studentship will involve working alongside a leading multidisciplinary research team and national governing body to deliver a large-scale impactful project. The candidates will have also access to the world-class facilities at the Carnegie School of Sport, including the £45 million new build.
The quality of Carnegie School of Sport research is evident in the outstanding results achieved in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, where we ranked 2nd nationally when accounting for both research quality and the number of contributing staff (Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism). Within the Carnegie School of Sport, the Carnegie Applied Rugby Research (CARR) centre, led by Prof. Ben Jones and Prof Kevin Till, undertakes high quality applied research with international and national governing bodies, and a range of professional sports teams. The CARR centre has a critical mass of over 50 research staff, PhD students and visiting researchers.
The successful candidate should have:
- A background in sport science and / or strength and conditioning
- Experience conducting fitness testing and providing athletic development support to youth athletes
- A background and passion for research methods and data analysis
PROJECT : THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A HOLISTIC RUGBY LEAGUE PERFORMANCE PROFILING AND MONITORING SYSTEM
(Supervisory Team; Professor Kevin Till, Professor Ben Jones)
Talent identification and development systems are now common place in supporting aspiring athletes to achieve future sporting success (Till & Baker, 2020). One key aspect of such systems is the assessment, profiling and monitoring of player potential and performance through objective and subjective player assessments (McCormack, et al., 2021a). For example, objective fitness tests are implemented to evaluate an athlete’s prerequisites of sporting performance by assessing their physical qualities and inform player assessment and development processes.
Within rugby league, a plethora of research examining the physical qualities of youth rugby league players is available demonstrating the importance of physical qualities for rugby league performance, player development, and future career attainment (e.g., Dobbin et al., 2019; Till et al., 2017). This has resulted in Leeds Beckett University conducting a national standardised physical testing project across rugby league academies within the UK (see McCormack et al., 2021b). However, while physical qualities are important for rugby league, a range of ‘holistic’ (i.e., physical, technical, tactical and psychosocial) qualities are required for young players to succeed in the long-term (Cupples & O'Connor, 2011). Therefore, this research project will aim to develop and evaluate the holistic qualities of youth rugby league players and implement a profiling and monitoring system for use within the sport.
As such this project will involve the successful candidate continuing and building upon the implementation of the RFL national physical qualities testing and data visualisation system. We encourage candidates to be innovative in their applications and demonstrate specific or multiple strengths within research methods (e.g., data science, qualitative) to help achieve the projects aims. The aim is to leave a legacy on the talent identification, development, coaching and other practices within rugby league.
Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals and the project with; Professor Kevin Till ([Email Address Removed]) and Professor Ben Jones ([Email Address Removed]).
A guide to making an application and an application form can be found through this link